I have written before about signing up for Donors Choose as a way to let the world community know about projects you would do with your class if you only had some extra money for supplies or equipment. People who would like to support schools go to the Donors Choose Website and very often choose a project and fund it. Easy for teachers and lucky for the class that benefits. I knew about Donors Choose but today in Free Technology For Teachers, I learned about some other opportunities for getting things for your class without dipping into your own pocket or without having to "beg" for what you need. I have taken these directly from Mr. Byrne's blog Free Technology For Teachers - What a Great Resource!!!
Goldstar Registry is a free service for teachers to use to get school supplies. The idea behind Goldstar Registry is the same as bridal registry services. Teachers visit the Goldstar website and register for classroom materials that they would like to receive. Then if a parent or grandparent asks if you would like anything for your classroom, you can have them look at your online registry.
Classwish is a service through which teachers can find people willing to help purchase supplies for their classrooms. Classwish operates in a very similar manner to Donors Choose. On Classwish, teachers can create a wish list of supplies that they need for classrooms that aren't provided in their school budgets. People looking to help teachers can purchase products on a teacher's list and receive a tax deduction for their purchase.
iLove Schools is a non profit organization that aims to provide teachers with classroom supplies that their schools don't provide. iLove Schools operates in a manner similar to that of Donors Choose and Class Wish. To get classroom supplies teachers register on iLove Schools and create a list of items that they would like to have for their classrooms. Donors can visit iLove School to choose a classroom to which they would like to donate supplies.
If you love free stuff as much as I love free stuff, check out Go To Freebie. On Go To Freebie you can find free samples of everything from bath and beauty supplies to toys and school supplies. Go To Freebie has forums and feedback to share experiences and tips about the freebies. Go To Freebie could be a good resource for teachers that are looking for simple "prizes" to give away to students as recognition for levels of achievement. Something that I do with free samples at the beginning of each school year is give out free notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies as prizes in ice-breaking activities.
As you start your year off, maybe you can not only wish you had what you needed or wanted , but actually get some of these things! Good Luck!